Carved boxwood gueridon by Andrea Brustolon, c. 1690–99.
Pair of Italian stands in the 18th Century taste.
A magnificent pair of Baroque style North Italian parcel-gilt, walnut and ebonised Blackamoor torcheres on stands, each formed as a standing and stooped figure with mother-of-pearl eyes and teeth, holding one hand up to support a large scallop shell upon a tasselled cushion that rests on the back of his head and shoulders, each figure in contra-pose wearing a flowing native costume tied at the waist with a sash, standing with the weight on one foot upon a rock on a shaped and stepped plinth carved at the four canted corners with acanthus bearing bearded masks below scrolls issuing foliate and floral swags on a stepped base. North Italian, date circa 1860.
Venetian glass Blackamoor, mid Century Murano.
These are the type, by Salviati, that Francis Elkins favoured.
Italian gilt and painted wood blackamoors.
Pedestal in the 18th Century Venetian taste, c. 1900-1910.
My least favourite type as they are too Byzantine and better suited to the English taste, which tends to be more Arab-centric.
Blackamoors were not merely the lawn jockeys of their day. They were created to exalt rather than to demean. By the mid to late seventeenth century Venetian sculptors began carving likenesses of these handsome figures out of wood. The major exponent (see top image) was Andrea Brustolon (1662-1732), who studied under his father Jacopo before being apprenticed in Venice under Filippo Parodi and from about 1684 worked for many of the major Venetian families. Brustolon carved some magnificent Baroque sculptural furniture including a vase stand that incorporated Africans, classical river gods, Charon, Cerberus and the Hydra, now at the Palazzo Rezzonico, Venice.
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